Somewhere along the road to parenthood, a vacation very quickly and quite unexpectedly turns into something new. You don’t know how it happens and you definitely didn’t mean for it to happen, but vacations no longer look like they used to. They won’t necessarily be any better or any worse, but boy will they be different. Then, vacations looked a little more relaxing. Now, vacations look a little more fun!
Then, you’d hop on a plane and have your magazines ready to be leisurely flipped through while sipping on a beverage. Now, you’re loading up the minivan and arguing with your spouse about who has the best method to stack the suitcases all while making sure not to forget to pack a barf bag in case anyone gets car sick.
Then, you would book the swanky hotel and order room service. Now, you are room service.
Then, you stuck your toes in the sand while listening to the waves crash. Now, you build sand castles and hunt for seashells while listening to your kids giggle and splash.
Then, you would relax on the beach sunbathing while reading a book. Now, you scramble for shade with white streaks of your SPF 50 swiped on your nose while making sure you still have all of your kids accounted for.
Then, you would clink your glasses with a “cheers!”. Now, you take part in popsicle sword fights and laugh until your belly hurts.
Then, you watched the sunset and stayed up long into the night talking. Now, you might just be hoping to make it to sunset without someone melting down and then sitting very quietly in the dark daring not to speak in fear of waking anyone.
Then, you slept in and woke up rested and ready for another relaxing day. Now, you might just be up before the sun, feeding hungry little mouths that don’t yet understand just how beautiful sleep can be.
Then, you planned and saved for the vacation of your dreams. Now, you still plan and save for the place of your dreams but someone might not share the sentiment and will make certain to mention it every single chance they get.
Then, it was just the two of you soaking up each other’s love. Now, it’s the whole family creating new memories and spending time together having fun away from the stress of work of school.
These new vacations, as different as they may be, will still be so incredibly special in a totally new way. Cherish these moments. Because one day you’ll leave your kids behind again and go back to that fancy place with the luxurious lounge chairs. Vacation will feel like it used to. There won’t be tears or diapers, toys or early wake-up calls. You’ll likely even end up missing them! This new vacation might make you feel like you need to sleep for a week when you get home. But then you’ll kiss their sweet heads goodnight while feeling like the sun has sucked every last bit of energy from your body, and you will realize that this new kind of vacation was absolutely perfect. And it was just what you and your family needed.